Didnt you break a rule here?....3 patterns? I guess you are in that "special" category of people who can break rules because they know what they are doing.
1) Anyone can break the "rules." I don't know if there are any "rules" that I 100% endorse in all situations (front necktie blade should be longer than the back one? don't walk around naked in public?). Regardless, I'm familiar with the 3-pattern "rule" but haven't deliberately incorporated it. Like every other style rule I've read, it's a guideline to warn you against something that frequently doesn't work. As I understand it, the concern with mixing a plaid shirt, a polka-dot tie, and a herringbone jacket is that the collar space will look garish or busy. That's certainly possible. It's also possible with combinations of solid colors. Personally, I think the image above looks sharp. Here's why:
a. The stripes in the suit and the necktie are the same color--blue and gold. They are the same type of pattern and the same color, but on vastly different scales. This makes them distant cousins, so that they complement each other without looking matchy.
b. The colors all fit. Light blue, white, navy, and gold; and gray in the suit. The gray is basically a canvas here--everything works with it. So while the patterns might be slightly busy (I don't think so), the color unity tones down the busy.
2) I guess writing two or three posts a week on a blog about menswear for over a year (just noticed that I missed my one-year anniversary by 11 days!) means I can't say that I never claimed to know what I'm doing. But I will say this: I don't have magic powers or think I'm any smarter than anyone else when it comes to this stuff. I used to dress like a slob. Now, I don't. I think about color and pattern and fit and silhouette a lot. I DO NOT think I'm special. I think I have some information that is worth sharing that I've learned through years of reading blogs, books, and magazine articles and from spending time in the mirror trying out ideas and from making some mistakes. I try to distill it for you. If I come across as thinking I'm "in that 'special' category of people," whatever the category, maybe that's the fault of my writing style. Sometimes, I wax poetic about clothes. No apologies.
Anyway, that's enough talking about myself instead of clothes. Anon, thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you keep coming back.